Need Advice on a New PC...

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Need Advice on a New PC...

Postby Ranthar » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:12 pm

I'm looking to build a new PC and was hoping to get some advice on what I need to best utilize Reality and Lux (and Poser). The current specs I am looking at are:

2x Intel Xeon E5-2620 2.1GHz Processor (16 core, 32 threads total)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or 1080
SSD Hard Drive (for read / write, not storage)

Is the above, or any part of the above, overkill? Underkill?

My hope is to be able to render 3200 x 2000 or larger size images reasonably quickly both with and without acceleration (the latter for effects and features such as caustics, microfacet subdivision, etc...). I optimistically define "reasonably quickly" as 4500 S/p in 12 hours or less without acceleration, though I fully realize that may be wishful thinking.

For the processor, I read that Lux started having issues after 32 threads. Is this true?

Regarding the video card, am I better off going with an ATI card rather than NVIDIA, or does it not really matter? Does the GPU ever come into play on non-accelerated renders? Is there any difference between GPU and CPU acceleration (I currently only use CPU)? Is the GPU used by Poser at all outside of rendering?

Thanks for your help!

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Re: Need Advice on a New PC...

Postby sigstan » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:11 pm

I think it looks like a pretty solid configuration.

My own machine is about a year old and has 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2620 v2 2.1GHz Processor (6 cores each) for a total of 24 threads and performance is great. As always the scene complexity, lighting and resolution will influence render time, but at the resolution you mention my guess is more like 40 hours for 4500 S/p (CPU-no acceleration), but I could be wrong.

There is a limit of 32 in the GUI, so unless you want to fiddle with changing the Luxrender source code and make your own version, then 32 threads will be the max. Also Luxrender does not scale linearly, so it is a matter of diminishing returns, when you increase the number of threads.

Regarding video card I think it is a matter of personal preferences. AMD cards are certainly better together with Luxrender, but lately there has been many driver issues. I actually went with a Nvidia GTX 970 as it allows me to also use iRay, if I need to, but that might not be a priority for someone else.

GPU rendering is much faster than CPU, but given the memory constraints and other constraints/issues I find that I rarely use the GPU accelerated modes for anything serious.

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